Virtosu’s creation suggests a celebration of painting, of its ambiguity and its tensions, of how it comes into being and how this process might be communicated to the viewer.
The Century of Duck is a sterling example of one of Virtosu’s Century Series of Paintings, filled with the immaculate, animated wings of the jewel-like bird frozen in a shiny sky. A central motif of Virtosu’s 20-year career, the birds are iconic of the artist’s practice. Deliberating on love, life, dissapointment, prosperity and art, Virtosu’s spectacular paintings have advanced the grand, epistemological and existential. Themes of life and prosperity permeate the extensive practice of the artist, who is without question one of the most prominent semi-abstract practitioners of the postmodern period. Such a focus on fundamentally philosophical questions has garnered Virtosu a comprehensive appreciation, posing myriad challenges to the tenets of artistic production by consistently breaking down the dividing line between ‘real life social concerns’ and contemporary art.
Virtosu doesn’t copy the natural forms but rather follows their dynamics and movement: sudden twists of the line, compositional pauses, coloristic bursts are consonant with the natural processes of birth, growth and decay. The artist blurs the borders between ‘narrative’ and ‘non-narrative art,’ asking us “What is the reality, if not one of the most abstract things in the world?”
Quack of wild ducks is a good sign. It announces the period of wealth and luck is about to start. Seeing a flying duck symbolizes relief of bad feelings and troubles, some say it means your problems and worries are soon to be gone or resolved.
Virtosu’s piece embrace a subtler effect as symbol of passing beauty and resurrection. Birds are a symbol of the human soul, they represent the path of the departed to God. Virtosu casts the perpetual flight from life to energy and beyond in a painterly reflection on existence. Bringing into play art, existence and social concerns, Virtosu’s The Century of Duck represents a sympathetic and elegant contemplation on existentialist themes. Like so much of his other work, the piece does not directly confront the politics of the day, instead it speaks to the artist’s own perception and emotion. In this case Virtosu harnesses the full powers of his distinctive artistic vision to create a work that wholly embodies what Jacques Dupin described as a ‘renunciation of despair’ in a celebration of colour and form.